We recently told you about Adams County's decision to fork over $20,000 after a deputy took down career criminal Mario Ybarra while trying to fingerprint him. At the time, attorney David Lane decried the lack of punishment for those who'd filed false reports. Now, the Adams County Sheriff's Office has opened an investigation, thirteen months after the incident happened.
As reported by CBS4, which obtained video pertaining to the matter (it's on view below), Ybarra, 45, was being fingerprinted on January 22, 2011, at Adams County Jail when he mouthed off to the deputies processing him.
The package aired by the outlet doesn't name the law-enforcers involved -- something that irritates Lane. However, an incident report shared by the station names them as Deputy Jimmy Marshall and Deputy MIchael Soto and reveals the sort of details not deemed broadcast-worthy.
According to Marshall's narrative, he and Soto were with Ybarra in the mug-shot-photo area attempting to take his fingerprint when the prisoner allegedly slapped the device and said, "Fuck this fingerprint machine and fuck you, too."
Soto's memory of the dialogue is a bit different. After the fingerprint machine malfunctioned, he states in his notes, Ybarra hit the device and declared, "Your fucking machine doesn't work." But both agree that Ybarra appeared to step away from the machine, at which point Marshall grabbed him by the shirt collar and took him to the ground, resulting in a struggle that was later joined by numerous other jail personnel.
Problem is, video of the incident doesn't back up the deputies' assertions about Ybarra's movements. "It's crystal clear that false reports were filed," Lane says, noting that Ybarra "didn't flinch" in the clip. "He didn't move a muscle before they jumped him. Mario admits that he was giving the cop a bit of grief for his lack of ability to get his fingerprints, and the cops just got pissed off and thumped him."
Here's the video.
Presumably, Adams County officials came to the same conclusion as Lane did, because they agreed to the $20,000 payout before a lawsuit was filed. But Lane remained frustrated that none of the deputies involved were disciplined despite having lied on police reports -- the same offense for which Denver Police Detective Jay Estrada was fired last year, only to be reinstated this month.
"The reason this keeps happening is because it doesn't cost the cops a dime out of their own pocket, and there's never any discipline imposed," Lane argued. "As far as the cops are concerned, it's like, 'So what if Adams County paid $20,000. They're not going to punish me, not going to discipline me, so who gives a shit?'"
Adams County DA Don Quick does. CBS4 has confirmed that the Adams County Sheriff's Office has launched an internal investigation into the incident, and once that's completed, Quick's office has pledged to review it.
The sheriff's office didn't respond to questions from CBS4 about the timing of the investigation, which is expected to take four-to-six weeks. But there's a mighty good chance the station's broadcast of the Ybarra footage, not to mention Lane's provocative comments, had something to do with it.
Look below to read the aforementioned incident reports.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.
More from our Follow That Story archive: "Jason Graber brutality case: David Lane lauds $5,000 daily fine threat over police records."